Meet The Kooks

12 Apr 2012

Ahead of their Chill Out Festival gig on 21 April, we chatted with The Kooks' lead guitarist Hugh Harris about music, floppy hair and aggressive performances

This is your second visit to the UAE. What did you guys get up to last time you were here?
I spent my time marvelling at the city and the people, and falling in love with it. The buildings are pretty mind-blowing. The whole expat thing is pretty exciting, seems quite supportive and it’s quite a nice community. Shoot me down if I’m wrong but everyone seems excited to be together in another place, and that’s exciting. 

You’re playing at Chill Out Festival. What do you guys do to chill out?
Oh, I don’t know. I don’t seem to chill out very much. We’re not very good at that, we’re workers. When we’re forced to have time off, I like going to the countryside, swimming in the sea and reading. Reading’s one of the most relaxing things you can do. I’m actually reading Flashmen at the minute, which is kind of like a nineteenth century James Bond but it’s all very rude and a bit unacceptable in terms of the behaviour.

Were there any other names you thought of before The Kooks?
Camel Fist I think was one but it just doesn’t make sense. We didn’t really care about the name at the start. It was actually the name that was given to another band first, I think – it’s actually the dregs of someone else’s group!

What can people expect from your performance at Chill Out Festival?
The world, people can expect the world. To be honest our live shows are pretty fantastic at the minute, I think we’re the best we’ve ever been. It’s become a lot more aggressive live than it is on the record. We try to cherish that art of performing live, it’s a one-take thing – you can’t go back and think, “Oh, I ****ed that up.”

I’ve got to ask you one more question – why do you indie music guys always have floppy hair?
Long hair is just nice, isn’t it? You don’t look so much like a thug. I would never be seen with a crew cut.